MBA 13 life expectancy

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ThomasSaysHi, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. ThomasSaysHi macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2012
    Hi forum,

    I will be (most likely) purchasing a MBA 13" Low end model within a few weeks, but just wanted to clear some questions before I take the plunge.

    Given that the MBA is virtually impossible to upgrade, as well as having a realatively low power CPU, how long can I expect it to work (smoothly enough to complete general tasks at a acceptable speed)?

    My only fear is that it will only last 1.5-2 years before it starts becoming very slow, and I have no way to upgrade it. I would like it to last at the very least 3 years, and Im hoping for 4. Or is this something I shouldnt be worried about...

  2. PBG4 Dude macrumors 68030

    PBG4 Dude

    Jul 6, 2007
    I have a MacBook from 2006 that still gets daily use today. It can't run Lion due to its 32 but CPU but it runs Snow Leopard fine. It is on its second battery though.
  3. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    The CPU in the 2011 MacBook Air is nearly as powerful as the CPU in the 2010 MacBook Pro. Sandy Bridge was a new CPU architecture in late 2010. What are you running on it?

    Remember that the Core 2 Duo still held its own in late 2010, nearly 5 years after it was released. I would expect that the Sandy Bridge processor will still be capable of running typical productivity, photo editing, and media software in 3 years time. As for Internet, remember that it doesn't take much power to run a web site. It tends to be hard core applications like gaming that tax CPU and GPU power. The MacBook Air isn't a gaming PC even today.
  4. calvol macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2011
    I'm going for five years on my 2010 MBA, the most likely electronics failure would probably be a logic board failure, and the most likely physical failure would be damage to the display, both of which would be expensive to repair.
  5. ThomasSaysHi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2012
    Thanks for the speedy replies guys,

    its what I had thought, but a little extra peace of mind is always nice.

    also, i know this question is on this forum practically every other day, but is it really worth waiting an extra 3-6 months for the new revision? is it really going to be a major overhaul? if its a body redesign and a dedicated gpu plus retina display and 8gb ram it might be worth the wait, but i would rather have my mac for an extra 5 months then have a little extra processor speed.

    and finally, im thinking of investing in a time capsule because a) i need a new router, b) i need an external drive with such a small SSD on the MBA, and c) automatic back up is great, but Im just wondering if it works as a router for a PC? I dont need the backing up or even the drive, but if it works as a router for my PC as well, it would save me having to get a new Windows router as well.

  6. aethelbert macrumors 601

    Jun 1, 2007
    Chicago, IL, USA
    Simply put, if you are happy with the current model at the current price, the you should certainly buy one today. Nobody knows what is coming down the pipeline aside from Ivy Bridge. It's totally your call. If you need the computer now, it only makes sense to get it now so long as you think the price is fair.

    Apple's routers work fine with Windows/Linux PCs. They send the same wireless signals as any other router. The drive on the Time Capsule can also work with computers on other operating systems, but keep in mind that it won't back up the Windows systems onto the installed hard disk. Windows systems can access it as a network drive, but it will take a bit of work on your end.
  7. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    it'll run no slower in 2 to 3 years than it does now when new.
    if it does, backup your data, erase the HDD and do a fresh install of the OS and all your Apps, then add in your data.
    voila - brand new, factory defaults, snappy Air.

    for 'general tasks' the Air is more than enough.

    the current Air would easily be good for 3 to 4 years - unless of course you drop it in the meantime - or sit on it.

    I'd be getting AppleCare 3 year warranty and then you'd have complete peace of mind.
    and if you did see something that took your eye within that period, you have a nice Air to sell that's still under warranty :)
  8. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    I expect my MBA to last a good 4-5 years, maybe longer. Take care of the battery and you should have no issues.

    As for waiting...Well, only you can really make that call. Knowing me my present Air will be replaced long before it's time is up hardware wise:)
  9. ThomasSaysHi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2012
    Alright thanks, guess I'll be ordering it next paycheck then! :)

    What are some ways that I can "take care" of the battery. Is keeping it constantly plugged in a bad idea?
  10. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    This should answer most, if not all, of your battery questions:
    Apple Notebook Battery FAQ by GGJstudios
  11. lolwut89 macrumors member

    Jan 13, 2012
    My sister has her Macbook white from 2006 with a Core Duo. I think it's pretty much falling apart but it runs fine for her. Her only complaint is that she can't upgrade iTunes on it because she's still running OS X Tiger.
  12. Hellishness macrumors 65816


    Jan 27, 2010
    Bay Area, CA
    As much as possible, use it plugged in. Never leave it plugged in when you're not using it. Cycle the battery every so often. 100% Health when I sold my air 6 months later.
  13. Chipg macrumors regular

    Aug 17, 2010
  14. jeremyshaw macrumors 6502

    Oct 29, 2011
    Not a laptop, neither does it have a Li-Ion-Poly (or just LiPoly) battery. Nor is it even made by the same factory. Likely not designed by the same engineers, either.
  15. Chipg macrumors regular

    Aug 17, 2010
    brilliant! good to know :D
  16. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Computer parts in that era were made to a completely different standard of quality. I mean it is impressive, but hardware built today is not built to last. It's built to be cost effective. No matter what your thoughts are on the quality of macs, they're built from the same components as other computers. We've all seen the logic board threads on here.
  17. jbzoom macrumors newbie

    Sep 30, 2010
    Mumbai, India
    3 - 4 yr life probably OK

    My 2008 Macbook Air 13 just died - 3.6 years. Upgrades to Snow Leopard and Lion kept it adequate for my needs.
  18. rwwest7 macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2011
    Something with no moving parts should last a lot longer than something with a moving part that is always spinning at 70 mph. The batter is replaceable, you just have to pay about $170. The Airs should last longer than the regular MacBooks, IMO.
  19. FuNGi macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2010
    Yeah, I expect the 2010/11 Air's to last quite awhile - maybe 5 yrs. My GF actually dropped her 11" and it only got a small dent. However, like all machines there is always a small possibility of a component failure earlier. Repairs might be expensive for the soldered logic board outside of Applecare but the probability of needing it is quite low. Another perk is that you can upgrade the SSD in a couple years to accommodate growth in data etc. Hopefully the SSD's will be cheaper by then.
  20. ThomasSaysHi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2012
    So the SSD can in fact be replaced? How about the RAM?
  21. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2010
    New Jersey
    I believe the RAM is soldered in so you can't upgrade that.
  22. wrinkster22 macrumors 68030


    Jun 11, 2011
    Ram is not replaceable (soldered onto the logic board cut to space saving)
    The ssd is not officially replaceable but a quick google search shows several swap kits.
  23. nutjob macrumors 6502a

    Feb 7, 2010
    On average it's warranty period + 1 day.

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